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Monday, September 22, 2014

Surprise Me....Not!

Please and thank you.

So, my anniversary has come and gone.  There was much anticipation about this day because the "surprise" lingered for days and weeks (it seemed.)  There were hints and more hints and everyone was in on it but me....... and you know what?

I hated it.  Hated it.  Me and surprises?  Nope.  Hate them.

And I know it's odd, but to me surprises feel like a betrayal.  Everyone is in on this thing that you are left out of and then you are supposed to be all happy and give just the right reaction when really you want to be like "Really? I had no input, no say so and I've said I hate surprises no less than a million times.....so really who is this for??"

Seriously, Jamie could come home and tell me that we're all going to Paris, everything arranged, all needs met, all cares attended to and my reaction would be?  Fury.

I'm a horrible person.  I know it.

My husband was trying to do something lovely for me.  But he included other people in on its and left me out of it.  To "surprise me" and my reaction was appropriate until I had to be honest the next day that it really hurt me to have communicated time and again that I hate being surprised and to have him, time and again, not listen.

However, all things that happen....yes, I analyze them to death and this was no different.  I asked him to listen and we talked.  I asked him to really think about why it was okay to gift someone something you have already been made aware they will not enjoy. In a relationship with two people if only one person enjoys what is happening (in any case) that's no longer a relationship.  All things being equal who bears the burden to change?  The person who is doing the thing the other person hates or the person who hates the thing being done?  Is it my burden to get over it and/or lie about the thing, or his burden to not do it?  I poured out my concerns that I was being unfair and unkind by not enjoying this surprise (or any surprises) because I recognized the intention as pure and good.....but with knowledge that something is unwanted, giving it to the person is really NOT a good and pure intention....it's actually quite selfish.  He had a really good idea, one that he actually flubbed up because he didn't quite know how to execute ( I did) but instead of including me in it, he wanted the glory and the credit for doing it.  He asked me how we could fix this from here on out and I explained that the idea was beautiful and I would have loved it if he had gotten the supplies for this idea, boxed them up, presented them as a gift and said "Let's do it together..."

No sneaking around and fussing at me to stay in the house.  No people coming in and out while I sat and waited and they giggled because  they knew something I didn't.  I asked him to pray that if this was a pride issue on MY part it would be removed from me, but that if it was a pride issue on HIS part, the same would happen.

No surprises in my life have been good ones.  I have clear issues with this and I could pinpoint where they manifested with  ease.  Mostly surrounding death and people not thinking I knew what I already knew, then sneaking around me, whispering so that I would hear them talking about things I knew they were talking about.  Maybe this is why I've grown to value the truth, as hard as it is, as ugly as it is.  I want the *truth* and "little white lies..." and "fibs" and "insert excuse for not telling the truth" piss me off hugely.  The older I get the less I can tolerate being lied to.  But I digress.

Also with age, I've gotten a little braver in exploring these things. Before I'd either be really mad at Jamie for "screwing up" or really mad at myself for being "mean.." But neither are true.  I have a preference that I truly need to be honored to feel secure in our relationship and he has chosen to take that to heart and really see MY intentions aren't to be ungrateful (he has told me often he wishes he could find joy in the same simple things I do) but simply to be included.  At the root of it all, I hate being left out and made to feel like I am not welcome.  Surprises invoke that feeling in me.

So while I love that he loves me (thank goodness he loves me)....surprise me?  Surprise me not.

Monday, September 1, 2014

And the truth shall set you free...kind of

So I am sitting here grinning at the irony of a person inspiring a blog because that person thinks my blogging about things I go through is "exhausting" and something else I can't quite remember (I think maybe the word was annoying)  The weird thing is after being told that I considered closing down my blog because well....this person obviously didn't approve.  I didn't really examine that any further. They didn't approve so obviously I needed to quit.  I didn't consider whether or not that person had any authority to approve or disapprove of anything I chose to do....but when I did...finally examine it..I realized I had handed that kind of authority over to this person for years....

How I should wear my hair.  What I should name my children.  What furniture to buy for my living room.  I asked and actually listened to this person's ideas about MY life.  Because that person was living a life I admired and wanted to emulate?  Not really (if I am to be completely honest). Because that person was so loving and kind and important to me?  Important yes, kind....I'm sad to say I can't use that adjective for this person after hours of thinking back over our relationship.  Because they had some stake in the end result of my choices?  Not at all.  So why? I've been thinking about that for a full 48 hours (well, actually a little over a year now, but in spurts) and the answers are a bit more daunting than I'd like to admit.

I wanted approval.  I asked for it.  And that person needed me to be the type of person who needed approval and when I finally got to a point in my life that I didn't need or want it from them, everything broke down.  When someone has a controlling personality, when they lose control...of you....they lose control of themselves.   Watching the situation play out with that in mind, I was horrified I let it go on so long.

I got no credit for the right things I had done our entire relationship but 100% of the blame for the things I had done wrong.  That fact alone made me realize how absolutely toxic the relationship had always been.  We only worked if I kept myself in line and if I stepped a bit over that line I was told what a horrible person I was.  I said the words "I'm sorry I..." multiple times whereas the other person said "I'm sorry but you..."

Catch that?

The thing, the truth will always be the truth.  At the end of the day, when we lay our heads down on our pillows and we are left alone with ourselves and our thoughts...the truth is simply the truth...even if we argued ourselves out of the other person knowing or believing that truth, it still exists.  We can twist it with words, we can blow smoke up everyone's ass from here until eternity, but it doesn't change truth's existence.  It doesn't matter if we convince 99 out of 100 people to believe our bullshit.  The truth isn't decided on popular vote, it simply exists.

Here's mine.  I tell the truth.  I haven't always, but I was always aware of when I wasn't.  I justified it as being "socially acceptable" and well, I don't always want everyone to know everything about me because most days I suck.  I don't feel the need to document my every move or thought for everyone who knows me to examine, but conversely I don't feel the need to say anything other than what is real to those who ask.  I will answer you with "I don't think you need to know that" if you don't need to know that but I will not lie to you, or about you, or WITH you (about you) to make you feel better about yourself.  That's not my responsibility. It's YOUR responsibility to fix whatever it is that's bothering you so much that you are having to lie about it.  If you need to lie, fine...that's on you...but don't include me in it cause I'm not going to play that game.  But this I CAN promise you....being truthful....with yourself, with your friends and family, and the strangers at stores that you "fib" to...to get a return or a better price on an item...is exhausting and not worth the soul damage you are doing to get whatever it is you think you are getting out of it.

I never quite understood the phrase "Oh what a tangled web we weave..." until I started knitting and realized the word tangled is one of the worst words in the English language.  Tangles are awful.  You can't tell until the very end of the untangling where the issue began.  You just keep removing string from knot after knot, little by little and it's honestly not worth the effort a good deal of the time.  Lies upon lies become so compounded that the second you open your mouth in an attempt to navigate your way out of it, you trip up on the last one and really the only thing you can do at that point is toss the yarn (friend) in the garbage (or you know, unfriend on Facebook) because you realize there's no way out.

Unless you tell the truth.  You know, admit you lied.  And apologize.  But we all know that ain't gonna happen.

And that's okay.  That's the last truth I need to accept.  And it has indeed.....set me free.